I love this city, the hills, the harbour, the wind that blasts through it. I love the life and pulse and activity, and the warm decrepitude… There’s always an edge here that one must walk which is sharp and precarious, requiring vigilance.
Patricia Grace on Wellington: part of the Wellington Writers’ Walk
A reader asked if I had any vegan suggestions for Wellington. I have many! I’ve spent several bits & pieces of time in Wellington for work and other reasons over the last few years. I love the city, and it always feeds me well. If you’re visiting, here are a few suggestions:
Brunch on Cuba Street: choose between several vegan options at Midnight Espresso including the hash stack pictured above, or if you want somewhere a bit quieter, stroll a couple of doors down and order the Vegan Works from Olive Cafe. Midnight is also open until all hours, and is the best place for a pre-show coffee or late night slice of cake.
Coffee and second breakfast in Newtown at Pranah. The coffee is wonderful strong locally-roasted Peoples Coffee, and the food is all vegetarian with plenty of vegan options. I’ve never taken a good photo of their plum, banana and almond pancakes because I’ve been too busy eating them.
Whatever’s going at Deluxe. Ever-changing cabinet food always includes vegan options, and the coffee here is excellent too. Things I’ve eaten at Deluxe include salads, cupcakes, nori rolls, apple & blackberry tart & rice cakes. Deluxe is also known for being the original practice space of the Wellington International Ukulele Orchestra, and is the setting for their Heartache video, which guest-stars a slice of vegan Apple Rhubarb Tart.
Malaysian food. Aunty Mena’s on Cuba Street is the obvious recommendation: its all-vegan Malaysian and Asian menu includes a good mix of mock-meat classics like the faux chicken drumstick pictured above, and vegetable-based meals. But Wellington does Malaysian like Auckland does Thai food – it’s plentiful and delicious, and can usually be made vegan.
Book ahead for vegan High Tea. Tucked away at the very top of Cuba Street, Martha’s Pantry is run by two sisters and packed full of fine bone china, knitted tea cosies and souvenir picture teaspoons. Its high tea is popular and lovely, and if you book ahead of time they can prepare a vegan version. When I visited last year, this included little sandwiches, a dolma, scones with two kinds of jam, heart shaped bread with hundreds & thousands, a chocolate-nut creation and a huge strawberry dipped in dark chocolate and edible glitter. Erin’s photos show some of the spread.
Other favourites, not pictured. The Beijing in Newtown – an omni Chinese restaurant with a vegan-friendly page of vegetarian options on its menu, Nature Vegetarian Food – a Chinese fake meat place in Lower Hutt where I had the best wonton soup I’ve ever eaten, Chow at two locations in the city – little shareable plates of pan-Asian noms, with vegan options clearly marked – kimchi gyoza, for example.
Explore. Wellington is a fairly vegan-friendly place, and there are sure to be lots of options I don’t know about. I heard there was a newish Mexican place with good vegan options? A few places you could gather more information:
- The Vegan Society‘s Facebook page is a good place to ask for vegan recommendations.
- The Vegetarian Society’s website lists vegetarian restaurants and veg-friendly places in Wellington.
- Ask @wellingtonvegan on Twitter for recommendations.
- Happy Cow has a few suggestions with reviews and contact details.
What are your best Wellington vegan recommendations? Please leave them in the comments.